Due to the disturbances in Israel and Gaza recently, people have been asking us for advice on current travel to Egypt. Always willing to help where we can, at Egypt Escapes, we have worked closely with our friends in Egypt (including some lovely meetings this week at the ‘World Travel Market’ in London!) to put together some fresh guidance for travel to Egypt for tours and holidays at the moment.

From pyramids to beaches, it’s not hard to see why Egypt is a leading tourist destination. With its ancient history, vibrant culture and stunning landscapes, it’s easy to understand why Egypt is a favourite destination for UK travellers.

Although Egypt shares a border with Israel and Gaza, this is actually along the sparsely populated Sinai Peninsula, over 400 miles from most cities, towns and resorts. To further allay any concerns, we have ‘a message of reassurance and friendship’ from the CEIO of Egyptian Tourism Authority:

“Dear Partners and Valued Visitors of Egypt, We appreciate your questions and concerns about the recent events in the region. We want to share some thoughts and reassurances with you. Egypt has always been a peaceful and friendly nation. We are committed to peace in the region and we hope for a quick and peaceful resolution to the current situation. We also want to assure all passionate travellers who have chosen Egypt as their destination that Egypt is safe and stable. The events in the region have not affected the safety and security of our country. As we write this message, more than 300,000 tourists from different nationalities are enjoying the beauty of Egypt. They are safely exploring historical sites, cultural treasures and the serene landscapes in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Aswan and Cairo. Your safety and comfort are our top priorities and we want you to feel confident that Egypt is a welcoming and secure destination. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.”

At Egypt Escapes, we are confident that all our tours and holidays are taking place as normal and everyone is having the amazing time that they should be. Indeed, we too are looking forward greatly to going to Egypt over this winter period for further educational trips.

At the same time, we do not want to try to diminish or trivialise the travesty of events that have taken and are taking place in that area and we sincerely wish for a swift and peaceful solution.

Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like any further specific questions related here answered and we will endeavour to do our best as always.

Read our full Egypt Escapes Travel Guide here.

“In addition to its wide array of attractions, Egypt is also known for its friendly and welcoming people, who are eager to share their country’s traditions and culture with visitors.

“Despite some ongoing security concerns in certain areas, Egypt remains a popular and safe destination for UK travellers and represents excellent value for money.

“However, as with any international travel, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and to take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.” Jonathan Frankham, general manager at World Nomads, told Express.co.uk

As in most tourist destinations, travellers could be a target for pickpockets in Egypt. Tourists should try to keep any valuables at their hotel and remain aware.

Jonathon continued: “Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft, can occur in tourist areas. It’s important to keep an eye on your belongings and avoid carrying valuables.”

The UK Government advises tourists to move away from any protests, marches or demonstrations as the atmosphere could change without warning.

Jonathon said: “Egypt has experienced political unrest in the past, which can occasionally lead to violence. Travellers should stay informed about the political situation and avoid large gatherings or demonstrations.”

What’s the latest government advice about travelling to Egypt?

There are no travel advisories in place for popular tourist spots like Cairo, the cities along the Nile, including Luxor and Aswan and resorts by the Red Sea such as Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.

Check the latest UK Government travel advice here.

Is there anything else to be aware of?

Egypt is an Islamic country. While attitudes are more relaxed in tourist resorts, customs can be very different elsewhere and more strict during Ramadan. Public drinking for example, can lead to arrest — alcohol is only permitted in a licensed restaurant or bar. Public displays of affection can also be frowned upon.

Possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs can lead to long prison sentences or even the death penalty. Be aware though that what might be legal in the UK may not be in Egypt.

Be aware too of what you’re photographing. Taking pictures of military installations (strictly prohibited), embassies, government buildings, churches and even infrastructure such as train stations can lead to arrests. If you want to photograph any Egyptian citizens, you must have written permission from them; photographing children is not permitted.

Taking or sharing photographs that are perceived to be damaging to the country’s image is also forbidden. Similarly, making strongly negative comments about Egypt or its politics, including on social media, can lead to you being detained.

In terms of safety on the ground, it pays to be vigilant. Protests take place with some regularity and foreigners taking part in political activities in the country could be detained or subjected to other measures.

The Foreign Office says: “If you become aware of any nearby protests, marches or demonstrations, you should move away from the immediate area as the atmosphere could change quickly and without warning. Police have previously used water cannons, tear gas, birdshot and live ammunition for crowd control.”

At popular tourist spots, visitors can be harassed for money or to buy things. There’s also a risk of theft and mugging, even in taxis. Travelling as part of an escorted tour can help reduce the risks. If you are a victim of crime, you should contact the local tourist police who can help you make a report.

What are Egypt’s Covid travel restrictions and any other entry requirements?

Egypt no longer has Covid-related travel restrictions.

You do not need any specific health requirements like jabs etc either. It is recommended that your tetanus is up to date (within 10 years).

What about visas to get into Egypt? And how long do I need on my passport?

For entry into Egypt though, you’ll need at least six months of validity left on your passport. You’ll also need to apply for a tourist visa for visiting most of the country. These can be obtained online before you travel or on arrival at dedicated desks inside the airport. This is valid for up to three months.

If you’re travelling to the resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba or Taba, you can get a free entry permission stamp upon arrival for stays of up to 15 days. You’ll have to get a visa if you want to stay longer or visit other places though.

Check the full Egypt Escapes FAQs Guide here.

*This article was written on and with the perspective of 9th November 2023.

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